He sees a fig tree, finds no figs, for it is not the season for figs, and the tree is cursed for not having fruit out of season. That seems odd, but perhaps not so odd in the context of things. It is springtime, there is an orchard, and none of the trees have leafed out, save one tree that is early. Why would one tree have leaves this early? A fig tree is the only tree that cannot fool man, for the flower and the fruit are one. An apple tree can be full of blossoms and yet not yield a single apple. Not so with the fig. Jesus examines the tree and discovers that though it stands out and above its brothers, it is nothing more than a hypocrite. It looks so mature and better than the rest, but it is all just show. “I see men as trees,” said the blind man on the way to being cured. So did Jesus, in the sense that He cursed the fig tree and went directly to the temple to do the same with men who had put themselves above others, even though they had no fruit.
And seeing at a distance a fig tree in leaf, He went to see if perhaps He would find anything on it; and when He came to it, He found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs. And He answered and said to it, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again!” And His disciples were listening.